Singapore bank gives customers 'kill switch' to freeze accounts in case of fraud

Hit by a recent spat of SMS phishing scams, OCBC Bank has introduced a “kill switch” that it says will let its customers cut access to all their accounts if they suspect their personal data have been compromised. When activated, the kill switch will immediately freeze all accounts including digital banking, e-payment, ATM access, and credit cards. 

Customers will need to call the Singapore bank’s hotline and use option “8” to trigger the kill switch, OCBC said in a statement Wednesday. They also will be able to do so via the bank’s network of 500 ATMs next month. 

“Once the kill switch is activated, no transactions–whether done digitally, via an ATM or at branches–can be made. Even recurring or pre-arranged fund transfers will be disabled,” OCBC said. 

A customer service representative then would contact the customer to remove compromised bank account access or replace compromised cards with new ones. 

Only a bank branch employee or customer service executive would have the authority to deactivate the switch, according to OCBC. This also would be carried out only after the bank staff received verified instructions from the customer to do so. 

Access to all accounts as well as settings, including GIRO arrangements and scheduled funds transfers,

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